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Small Estates

What is a small estate?

To determine if the estate qualifies as a small estate, prepare an Inventory of all property to determine the value. Then, add up the following:

If the total value of all estate property in the Inventory, after subtracting liens and debts against the property, is less than all of the above amounts added together, the estate qualifies as a small estate.

For a small estate, the Personal Representative must take all of the initial probate steps except where noted.

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How is the procedure different for a small estate than a regular informal probate?

For a small estate, the Personal Representative must follow all of the steps in the informal probate process, except the Personal Representative:

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What do I do if the estate qualifies as a small estate?

The Personal Representative can immediately transfer the property to those who are supposed to receive it under a Will or through intestacy (when there is no Will). Read about transferring ownership of assets. However, the Personal Representative must take all other probate steps, including preparing an Accounting or asking for waivers of the Accounting. The Personal Representative must also file a special Closing Statement described below.

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How do I prepare a Closing Statement for a small estate?

Prepare and file a document called a "Sworn Statement of Personal Representative Closing Small Estate" that asks the court to close the probate and end your appointment as Personal Representative. You should read Alaska Statute 13.16.695 to make sure that the Closing Statement is complete. If you have any questions, you should talk to a probate lawyer.

You must tell the court the following in your Closing Statement:

*Important: You must sign a verification under oath saying that all of these statements are true and complete to the best of your knowledge and belief. You can do this before a notary.

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When does my appointment as Personal Representative end?

You will keep your powers as Personal Representative for one year after you file the Closing Statement. If there are no court proceedings at the end of the year, your appointment automatically ends. No court hearing is needed.

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Rev. 10 July 2013
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